The boy had bitten a large chunk out of a neighbor
and was heading for downtown. The state police
were called and they surrounded him down by
Miller’s pizza. First, they tried to talk to him, but
that ended when Tommy went after a mother who
was strolling her baby. They fired some rubber
bullets that knocked Tommy back and sent him
into a picnic table. “Tommy, we want to talk,”
one said. “How can we help you, Tommy?” another
said. “I’m sorry they did this to you,” a third said.
That one seemed to get through. Tommy stopped
drooling and growling and sat on a bench, crossing
his legs with his hands clasped on top of them.
“I’m ready to talk now,” he said. The officer put
down his gun and sat on the other side of the picnic
table. “What did they make you do?” he said. “They
made me mad, so I wouldn’t be able to stop myself
from eating that neighbor,” he said. “All you did was
take a bite,” the officer said. “I didn’t kill him,”
Tommy said. “Not even close,” the officer said.
“Take this,” the officer said. He handed the boy a
napkin to wipe his face. “Thanks,” the boy said.
The boy’s mother arrived on the scene. She ran
over to the table on all fours, drooling and screaming
like a banshee. “See what you’ve done to him,” she
said to the officer. “No mom, he’s all right,” the boy
said. “You’ve brainwashed him. Don’t look at me
like that,” she said. “Don’t let her take me officer,”
the boy said. Before he could respond, she took a
bite out of the officer’s arm and spit out the police
patch. She slung Tommy over her shoulder and ran
off into the trees at the edge of the power lines, where
she climbed a transformer and let out the most horrible
cry, sending the grackles up there scattering over the
rooftops like an airborne disease.